GYPTXVN forces frustration through a subdued voice on the escapist banger “Flight”.
It’s no understatement to say the world has been a hard thing to keep up with these past few weeks. Amidst the global pandemic most people are losing their social routines, and some are facing far graver losses. Now is a time of immense frustration, isolation, and boredom. Enter underground legend GYPTXVN, notable for a musical catalogue too large to list and an equally sizeable list of collaborations. GYPTXVN’s newest single “Flight” is a moonlit tirade of turbulence and anger; whilst “Flight” shows no explicit links to the pandemic, its rejection of imprisonment and routine capture the raw feelings that extended isolation facilitates. “Flight” is dark and downtrodden, but not compromised by fear. It is an efficient catharsis dropped into the most stressful time of the last decade.
Tackling the musical content of “Flight” must come with an initial recognition of GYPTXVN’s production style. Typically, GYPTXVN crafts immense, psychedelic experiences, bejewelled by laser-like arps and airborne synth pads – “DOBHAR-CHU” from last year’s “SOULJAS OF THE MIRE” is an apt example. “Flight” is significant in just how far it departs from this style; melodically “Flight” is a phantasmic woodwind sample undercut by dampened synth pads. The percussion does a lot of the heavy lifting in keeping the beat interesting. Clean rolls of hi hats recall rain pouring, playing into the iconic lo-fi aesthetic that inspires the song. The bass line is massive and warlike as expected, but even so “Flight” is instrumentally minimal. GYPTXVN’s reservedness as a producer asks the listener to cancel their expectations, opening a pensive ambience even before he enters vocally.
GYPTXVN forgoes the celestial Flexo Kobain moniker to (ironically) bring his performance down to earth. His vocals are a concrete rasp, solid against the song’s instrumental backing but muted to the point where each word struggles to manifest – echoing a central message of looking for opportunity in a world of fury. “If I catch flight I’m gone” serves as the core refrain. The drive is there, but the tense is conditional, which frames GYPTXVN’s brash and self-assured verse in a bubble of uncertainty. He at once recognises the need for escape – from the “frogs in [the] pond” he’s surrounded by – and the trepidation that comes with progress. Elsewhere GYPTXVN shows off a prowess for flow; “Prime time n—- like Optimus, smoke rocket ships and get gone with this” is smoothly delivered, and “put my heart in the charts” is worthy of becoming the scene’s next catchphrase. The overarching tone is one of slow-burning rage, restrained by ambition of something greater, mirroring the discontent of the present day process.
“Flight” was released at the perfect moment. In another context it would lack the stress needed to force meaningful amounts of emotional weight through GYPTXVN’s quiet vocals. Right now, though, “Flight” evokes the backed up tension of a postponed global breakdown. It’s GYPTXVN’s statement on controlling the world around you, even when that world is rapidly losing form.
Listen to Flight here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)